UAE multinational backs micro-surgery robotics venture

Crescent Enterprises completes investment in ColubrisMX and XCath based in the United States

FILE: An anaesthetist monitors a patient's heart rate and other data displayed on electronic monitors during an operation inside a theater at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, part of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, in Birmingham, U.K., on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. As the U.K. government proposes spending 160 million pounds ($207 million) to support medical research and health care we select our best archive images on health. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg
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The UAE-based multinational Crescent Enterprises completed its US16 million investment in ColubrisMX and XCath, two US-based next-generation micro-robotic medical device companies, through its new corporate venture arm, Crescent Enterprises Venture Capital (CE-VC).

Launched this month, CE-VC plans to invest $150m over the next three years, making it one of the largest corporate venture units in the Middle East and North Africa.

“At Crescent Enterprises, our operating and investment history in healthcare demonstrates our commitment to technological advancement and innovation," said Badr Jafar, the chief executive of Crescent Enterprises. "The launch of CE-VC, which is committed to supporting early-to-later stage start-ups validates this priority. In addition to ColubrisMX and XCath, CE-VC has invested in a wide-range of technology-driven start-ups over the last two years.”

ColubrisMX and XCath were developed at the University of Texas Medical School’s Microsurgical Robotics Laboratory and incorporated in Texas. Both companies design and develop next-generation robotic technologies that are expected to revolutionise healthcare development in their respective fields.


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Leading the Series A round of funding, CE-VC plans to fund the manufacture of prototypes of the medical devices under development by ColubrisMX and XCath in conjunction with co-investors. The funding will also aid in testing and clinical studies outside the US, Crescent said.

ColubrisMX is developing a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive, microsurgical robotic device that can treat life-threatening conditions such as foetal malformations and brain abnormalities through microsurgery. XCath, meanwhile, is developing next-generation steerable robotic microcatheters for treating endovascular conditions such as cerebral strokes. With microsurgical robotic devices, patients can be treated remotely, especially those who live in parts of the world where special surgical procedures are not otherwise readily accessible.

Crescent said the cutting-edge medical devices being developed by ColubrisMX and XCath have immense potential as they are less invasive and more flexible than the current robotic assisted surgery technology available globally.

"These technologies will not only create value for both companies but also advance the field of medical science and benefit the lives of people," Mr Jafar said.